PYNN’S BROOK A stone sits in the ground pondering its future. It had always aspired to greatness in its millions of years on Earth, but what is a stone to do?
In order for that to happen, for it to truly leave a mark on this world, someone would have to recognize its potential; to realize as it does that this is not just a stone, but a work of art waiting to be brought to life.
Suddenly the stone is taken out of its home by a large mechanical device and brought here to Pynn’s Brook with a lot of other stones.
A bearded, friendly looking man named Gerry Squires is measuring the stone, talking to himself and placing a large bronze sculpture on the stone’s face, a kind of plaque that it hears will commemorate the late Al Pittman, a Corner Brook poet who died 11 years ago in August. He hears Squires, an artist in his own right who created the plaque, say what a great man and excellent poet Pittman was, and how this stone is just perfect for the job.
Greatness achieved, thinks the stone. I finally have a purpose.
“I wanted a stone that not only can hold the sculpture itself artistically, but one that means something to this area,” the stone hears Squires tell the nearby media. “Pittman spent most of his life here, he was very familiar with the mountains, and choosing a piece from here will help honour his memory in the best way I can.”
The stone learns it’s a piece of sandstone, which isn’t as easy to carve as soapstone, but comes from the same environment where the Humber River flows into Deer Lake. Pittman, a writer who spent time teaching at Grenfell College, reportedly loved the Humber Valley so, the stone thinks, who better to represent him than me?
The plaque which will be attached to the stone is made of bronze and has Pittman’s face carved into it. It’s a greenish colour, contains the text of some poems, and it will be unveiled next month on the lawn across from The Western Star office on West Street. The stone hears Squires say to not take a picture of the artwork, as it’s supposed to be a surprise.
Squires, an artist who lives in Holyrood, called the project a personal one for him, as he and Pittman were close.
“I wanted to do this when Al died but I kept putting it off,” he said. “My wife finally said, well for chrissakes just do it instead of bitching about it.”
He came to the area for a March Hare event and discussed the possibility with other local artists.
Thanks in part to some fundraising with Jigs and Reels, he was able to create the bronze artwork, giving hope to confused, lonely stones everywhere.
The creation will be unveiled on June 28.